Ph.D. Graduates’ Advice to Students for Completing the Dissertation
Be very organized and disciplined. Create a schedule much like a course syllabus outlining what you will be working on every week and approach the dissertation like it is a course. President of Clarion University, Dr. Karen M. Whitney
Select a topic of great interest to you and others in the field. Focus all of your papers and research during the time that you are taking classes on that topic to the extent that you can. Select a chair who has an interest in your topic. Stay away from departmental or university politics. Find a buddy/partner who can help keep you on track with completion. Devote some time every week to research and writing. Seek help and expertise where you need it and focus laser-like on finishing. President Emeritus of Cuyahoga Community College, Dr. Jerry Sue Thornton.
Realize that no matter how hard you work, there is always going to be something imperfect about your dissertation. There is no perfect research study. When you realize that, it is easier to push forward and complete the project. Associate Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Dr. Mary Triana
Do what your committee members tell you when it comes to choosing your dissertation topic and carrying out the study. If you say to your members that you want to study horses in Northeast Chicago and they tell you to study cats in Southwest Chicago, that’s what you do. Associate Professor of Bentley University, Dr. Marcus Stewart
Do something on the dissertation every day. Don’t wait until you have a large block of time to work on the dissertation because you might never get that large block of time again, especially if you are teaching, raising a family or doing something else. President of University of Virginia, Dr. Teresa A. Sullivan